Subject: A big sphinx moth takes the T
Location: Boston MA (Jamaica Plain)
June 17, 2014 4:31 pm
I saw this critter beating against a window at the Green St T station in Boston MA during the second week of June. It took a rest break on the sill and I got its picture from outside through the glass. About 1-1/4″ long and maybe 1-5/8″ wingspan. Very distinctive wing shape, 3 lobed abdomen and pencil thin white band, I’m pretty sure it’s some kind of sphinx but can’t find a web image that really matches. Thanks for any help with this one.
Signature: Louise O
Our favorite site for identifying Sphinx Moths, since you were correct with your family identification, is the Sphingidae of the Americas website which breaks sightings down by country and state. According to the Sphingidae of the Americas Massachusetts page, the Nessus Sphinx, Amphion floridensis, is a diurnal species.
Thanks so much for answering, I saw your vacation notice and thought it unlikely that you’d be able to get to this. I did see a few images of Nessus on lline and thought it was quite close, but all of them had bold double abdominal bands. The link you gave me does in fact have several pix that show this variation with the pencil thin line, so thanks for sending me to the right place. It was a very dramatic sighting and a mystery no more.
Upon our return to the office, we have been trying to get to a few old requests that arrived in our absence each day. Your email was chosen at random, hence the late response.